Tag Archives: Tony Award

All in the family

Turns out you can’t judge a musical by its poster.

Fun-Home-1

The only thing I knew about the Broadway show Fun Home before I saw it last night was a) the critics loved it and b) the Tony voters did, too.

It scored 12 nominations earlier this week.

I didn’t know the soundtrack or the book upon which it was based. I walked in the theatre about as clueless as a person could get.

So imagine my surprise when the show wasn’t the singing, dancing Partridge Family parody that I had cooked up in my head.

If you too are in the dark (and wish to remain so), stop reading now.

Have they left?  Okay.  So the rest of you know why my mind is a bit blown right now.

The musical’s narrator is a lesbian cartoonist. (Yeah, this show’s no Cinderella.) With the help of her very young self and college-aged self — two incredible young performers — she tells her life story.  With captions.

(‘Cause she’s a cartoonist.)

Fun-Home-2How her father was a part-time teacher and part-time funeral director — FUN HOME was the family nickname for the funeral home — and a closeted gay man who slept with lots of boys and committed suicide while she was away at college.

Yeah.

But that’s not to say there weren’t moments of humor and laughter.  Her first girl-on-girl experience in college inspired “Changing My Major to Joan,” one of my favorite songs in the show. And the kids did do a little Partridge Family at one point, so the graphic designer gets to keep his job.

The cast is all-around amazing. I do wish I had seen the show off-Broadway before they were plopped down into this in-the-round venue. It has led to a lot of ‘singing to the audience’ staging that seems amateurish for a story of such complexity.

It is quite a ride.

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The original go-getter

The Gilmore family lost its patriarch today.

Edward Herrmann, who portrayed Richard Gilmore during The Gilmore Girls’ seven-year run on the CW, died today in Los Angeles after battling brain cancer.

I first remember seeing Herrmann in a small role in the original Great Gatsby film. Even then, his distinctive voice and upper-crust persona were in evidence.

Numerous obituaries list his Tony and Emmy award-winning work, but I’ll always think of him as Richard Gilmore, the rich grandpa who we’d love to have in our corner.

Logan was such a goob…am I right?

Constructive criticism

Feedback — we have to give it and receive it, sometimes daily depending on our jobs.

That doesn’t make it any easier to hear.

Tim Minchin, the Olivier-award winning and Tony-nominated songwriter of Broadway’s Matilda, once received a very bad review that he couldn’t really shake off.  How did he deal with it?

He wrote a hilarious song about it.

I’ll have to try that sometime…

Note — Minchin is currently workshopping a new musical in London based on the movie Groundhog Day. Can’t wait to hear those lyrics!

On the street where I live

Since I moved to New York City seven years ago, I’ve had a lot of celebrity sightings.

Actual meetings, though, are an event.

Yesterday, while out walking Rory Dog, I stopped to say hi to one of the doormen on my block who has become a good friend.  He was standing with a gentleman who I did not know.

castle season 3Once we started talking, I realized he was Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the actor who played Captain Montgomery in the first three seasons of Castle [pictured far left].

Turns out he has lived on my block for over 30 years.

Ruben has an impressive acting resume beyond Castle, especially on the Broadway stage, where he won a Best Actor Tony Award for August Wilson’s Seven Guitars.  And he has a new TV series premiering his fall on AMC called Low Winter Sun.

But the coolest thing?  He’s a really nice guy.

Spirit stick

Do you remember the very first DVD you ever owned?

I do.

I had just bought a combo VHS/DVD player — back when they were still pretty pricey — and a friend gave me the campy cheerleader cult classic Bring it On.  (It wasn’t a classic back then; just campy.)

It also wasn’t a musical, but it is now, and not on Broadway. My west coast friends have the bragging rights to this one.

Bring it On: The Musical may be playing at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles through December 10th, but they have recruited a bunch of Broadway award-winners to their team:

  • Tony Award-winning writer Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q)
  • Tony Award-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (In The Heights)
  • Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal)
  • Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (In The Heights)

It’s gotta be good, right?

Tweets from audience members, both celebrity and ‘regular folk,’ have been very enthusiastic. The critics appear to have their doubts.

But it’s early yet.  There’s lots of time to polish.  Bring it On: The Musical is on a national tour, although no Broadway dates appear to be scheduled.

Yet.

I’m sexy, I’m cute,
I’m popular to boot.
I’m wanted, I’m hot,
I’m everything you’re not,
I’m pretty, I’m cool,
I dominate this school,
Who am I? Just guess,
Guys wanna touch my chest,
We cheer and we lead,
We act like we’re on speed,
Hate us ’cause we’re beautiful,
Well we don’t like you either,
We’re cheerleaders,
We are cheerleaders.